When it comes to natural beauty, Uttarakhand is considered one the richest States in India. The state also has some of the important spiritual cities in the country that incredulously co-exist alongside adventure capitals. Uttarakhand is a beautiful example of the paradox that is India. We look at things to do in Uttarakhand that make this state unforgettable.
1. At the gate of the Gods
Uttarakhand has always been called Devbhumi (Land of the Gods) largely because in this State one can find some India’s holiest places and shrines. It has been attracting innumerable devotees and believers for over 1000 years. The most revered amongst such places is Haridwar (the gateway to God), where people come to wash away their sins with a dip in the Ganga. Haridwar is a revered Hindu pilgrimage destination and it is particularly crowded during the world famous Kumbh and Maha Kumbh Melas. The two festivals have become an uber-magnet not just for devotees but also aspiring and professional photographers. Haridwar is not just a place but an experience that’s simply incomparable.
2. The Real Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a city that attracts a diverse crowd. It has revered ancient temples but it also a hub for adventure sports like rafting, rappelling and more. The contrast makes it very popular amongst people of North India. Rafting is organized in Shivpuri near Rishikesh and is seasonal. But the temples attract worshippers and photographers from all over. Rishikesh is also the premier yoga hub of the nation and at the Patanjali School educates people from the world over about yoga, meditation, ayurveda and other holistic measures. People stay at the school for months on end learning how to reshape their lives.
3. Divine Dehradun
Thanks to its natural beauty and pleasant climate, Dehradun serves as a vital escape from the harsh Indian summers. While vacationing in Dehradun one of the things to do is visiting the Rajaji National Park. The sanctuary houses many rare species of flora and fauna. Hitting one of the many trekking, hiking or biking trails is a great way to balance the increased appetite created by the fresh and clean air. While you burn off the calories you’ll also discover the hidden side of Dehradun at a languid pace.
4. The holy four
For centuries, a drastically diverse crowd has been flocking to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. The four places are together called the Chhota Chaar Dhaam (The smaller holy four centres). The locations have long enchanted people with their unparalleled beauty, their divine history and, since recently, their adventurous side. Pilgrims looking for salvation have been braving the trying conditions to reach them as they are the sources of the holy rivers, Ganga and Yamuna. Recently these conditions have become a major draw for Uttarakhand tourists, especially biking enthusiasts and campers who love the scenic journey and locales. The glaciers that support the two rivers are slowly melting, which has added to their attraction. Kedarnath, the hardest to reach location, is only accessible to the general public in specific months.
5. India’s Switzerland
Kasauni is a small hillstation located in Bageshwar. It is known for its serenity and small town charm, quite distinct from the bigger hillstations of the region. It offers panoramic view of the Himalayas and a quiet escape from urban life. Kasauni’s beauty led Mahatma Gandhi to hail it as the Switzerland of India. In Kasauni, you can visit the Anashakti Ashram which was home to Mahatma Gandhi while he wrote his discourse on Anasakti Yoga. In your sightseeing list, you must include a visit to see the Himalayan peaks that are shaped like a trident. If you are staying with a homestay, your hosts can teach you how to make an aipan, a regional and traditional style of rangoli.
6. To do in Nainital
Nainital is one of North India’s most popular hillstations. It is the land of nine lakes and enthralling activities, suitable for the entire family. In Nainital the most popular activity is boating. One can choose from several options like row boats, pedal boats and sail boats to discover the corners of Naini Lake. A cable car ride will lead you to Snow View from where you can enjoy lovely vistas of the region. A walk up and down the mall road is a lovely way to spend an evening or start the day. Many day trips from Nainital can be organized easily. The most popular amongst them are trips to Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal. Walking and hiking trails are found all over the hillstation with countless hidden secrets to share.
7. Must see Mussoorie
Due to its close proximity from Delhi and well-connected roads, Mussoorie is one of the many poplar hillstations in Uttarakhand for tourists. Other than a pleasant climate and picturesque locales, the hillstation has plenty of activities to offer. The Mall road is great place to spend hours walking and exploring the local market, maybe picking up trinkets as souvenirs. Kempty Falls is a lovely waterfall where lots of families come to enjoy a dip in the water followed by a fun picnic. A lovely and exciting ropeway ride leads you to Gun Hill, the second highest peak of Mussoorie. Here one can enjoy divine vistas of the Himalayan ranges and of the town below.
8. Wildlife Wonders
Jim Corbett National Park has been the favoured getaway for wildlife lovers in India. It doesn’t just offer a chance to see rare animals in their natural habitat but also a choice of exclusive experiences. Jeep safaris, elephant safaris, camping, festive celebrations and photography are all available for your entertainment at this sanctuary. The park is closed during certain months but is a great getaway during the most pleasant seasons in North India.